Legislation Would Grow Career Opportunities and Enhance Safety Training in Trucking Industry
Feb 27 2019
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) joined U.S. Senators Todd Young (R-Ind.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.) to reintroduce the Developing Responsible Individuals for a Vibrant Economy (DRIVE-Safe) Act. This legislation would address the driver shortage in the trucking and logistics industry, and enhance safety training and job opportunities for young truckers.
“With two of the largest highways in the country crossing through our state, Kansas provides a significant network of safe and reliable routes that connect our nation’s markets and population,” said Sen. Moran. “However, there is no denying we have a truck driver shortage that could significantly impact our economy and the way Kansans do business. The DRIVE-Safe Act would help curb the truck driver shortage and provide young Kansans new career opportunities by establishing an apprenticeship program. I am pleased this program includes rigorous safety standards and performance benchmarks to make certain our roads remain safe, while continuing to deliver commodities across Kansans and the country.”
Though many states allow individuals to obtain a commercial driver’s license at the age 18, federal law currently prohibits those operators from moving goods from state to state until they are 21. The DRIVE-Safe Act establishes an apprenticeship program that would allow for the legal operation of a commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce by CDL holders under the age of 21. The apprenticeship training program would help ensure these drivers are adequately trained, while instituting rigorous safety standards and performance benchmarks.
The apprenticeship program established by the DRIVE-Safe Act would require young drivers to complete at least 400 hours of on-duty time and 240 hours of driving time with an experienced driver in the cab with them. All trucks used for training in the program must be equipped with safety technology including active braking collision mitigation systems, a video event capture system, and a speed governor set at 65 miles per hour or below.
U.S. Senators Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Angus King (I-Maine) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) also joined as cosponsors of the bill.
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